R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri
Taking the taste of Punjab to Tokyo
Punjabis connected
A hobby that has clicked


Josh ‘must apologies’
: Mr Bhag Singh Ankhi, honorary secretary, Chief Khalsa Diwan, on Saturday demanded that Mr Harcharan Singh Josh, newly elected member of the National Minority Commission, should apologise for his irresponsible remarks describing Sikhs as part of Hindus. In a press statement issued here, he stated that Mr Josh should immediately take his words back. He said that Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht and Mr Avtar Singh, President, SGPC, have raised their objections and condemned the statement of the NCM member.

Shaheed Udham Singh chair: Mr Sardool Singh Bandala, Excise and Taxation Minister, on Saturday announced that the government would establish a chair for conducting research on the life and sacrifice of great martyr Shaheed Udham Singh at Guru Nanak Dev University here. He was addressing to Kamboj Sabha at village Chhapa, about 10 km from here. He paid tributes to the great martyr.

Career guidance workshop
: Lions Club Supreme Barnala will organise a one-day career guidance workshop at Y.S. Public School, Handiaya (Barnala), on April, 2. Talking to The Tribune here on Saturday Prof Darshan Kumar, project chairman of the workshop, divulged that a three-member expert team from New Delhi would interact with students of this region who wished to select their career after qualifying matriculation and plus two examinations, dwelling at length on thousands of career options open for them.

Five-year-old raped
: A case of rape of a five-year-old daughter of a migrant labourer was reported from Saila Khurd at Garhshankar police station of this district on Friday evening. According to police sources, Sumit Sharma, alias Pawan Kumar, a son of Meg Raj of Baroh village of Kangra district (HP), took the daughter of Dalip Singh, a migrant labourer from Bihar, presently residing at Saila Khurd, while she was playing, to his room at about 4 pm yesterday and allegedly raped her there. When Dalip Singh came to know about the incident, he reported the matter to the police. The police has arrested Sumit Sharma under Section 376, IPC.



Elected: Mr Madan Mohan Prashar has been elected as President of the Shri Kaushlendra Sita Ram Sabha, Sector 19 C, Chandigarh and Shri Alakh Niranjan Mehta outgoing President has become Patron of the sabha. The general body unanimously authorised Mr Prashar to constitute the Executive Committee of the Sabha.



Taking the taste of Punjab to Tokyo

His desire to take the aromas of the Indian kitchen, particularly the taste of Punjabi cuisine, to Japan has brought Motegi, a 35-year-old Japanese, to Hoshiarpur, known as the city of saints.

The flavours of India have tickled his taste buds so much that he has already undertaken six trips to the country and travelled to almost all states to familiarise himself with the regional cuisines.

Punjab has been his final halt in this culinary discovery of India, with Hoshiarpur serving as a hub for his exploration of the state.

“Indian food is very delicious. It is so different, apart from being healthy. I first got a taste of it at some Indian friends’ house in Tokyo and was bowled over by the spicy food. That’s when I decided to learn Indian cooking.

“My ultimate dream is to go back to Japan and open an Indian restaurant in Tokyo one day,” he says.

“I come to India every year during my holidays,” says Motegi, who works in a Tokyo-based paper mill. During his present visit, Motegi has left no stone unturned to learn the finer points of Indian cooking.

He has been visiting five-star hotels and roadside dhabas as well.

“I am amazed to see such a large number of people eating at dhabas. This is a sight unique to India and Pakistan. My endeavour is to imbibe the best of the food served in dhabas,” adds Motegi.

He has been approaching many dhaba owners to teach him their peculiar cooking style. And to enable recall of the dishes later, he captures them on his camera and saves them on his laptop.

“He is so passionate about our cuisine that he spends hours at the dhabas and in our kitchen,” says Anurag Sood, a Hoshiarpur-based progressive farmer and social worker who is playing host to Motegi.

“ I can already make a number of traditional Indian dishes such as ‘dal makhni’, ‘bhindi ki sabji,’ ‘kadi pakora’ etc,” declares this foodie with pride.

Punjabis connected

Satwinder Singh, a Jalandhar-based journalist-cum-video director has come up with an idea to connect all the Punjabis of the world through the Internet.

Running Mahi Media, a communications company at Jalandhar, he has floated the website www.apnnapunjab.com for this purpose.

Punjabis across the world can feature on the website and also display their family photographs along with other family details free of cost.

They can also post details about their long-lost friends and relatives.

Information about their villages, cities and townships can also be posted on the site in addition to matrimonials.

Besides, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the important people of Punjab, including deputy commissioners, SDMs and mediapersons have been displayed on the website.

“The Internet is a very effective medium. Hence, I decided to make use of it to bridge the distance between Punjabis settled in different parts of the world,” says Satwinder Singh.

A hobby that has clicked

For this Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, photography is a passion he indulges in whenever he gets free time in between his tight work schedule. Avtar Singh, Conservator of Forests, Chamba Forests Circle, took to photography while in Class VIII, starting out with a small Agfa Isoly camera.

Born in 1957 in Rasul Pur village, near Tarn Taran, he did his B.Sc. from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, after which he got selected to the Indian Forest Service in 1982.

During his training at Dehra Dun, Avtar Singh shifted to SLR photography. After passing out from the Forest Academy in 1984, he was allotted the Himachal Pradesh cadre and has since been serving in the state.

The beauty of Himachal Pradesh, a paradise for photographers, has been captured on his lens. His main area of interest being to click nature in its myriad hues. He is especially fascinated by clouds.

“I remained posted mostly in the high hills which are full of thick forests, offering a breathtaking sight for landscape photography,” says Avtar Singh.

Planning to put up an exhibition of his photographs in the near future, he says his photographs are displayed regularly on the official website of Himachal Pradesh, besides being available on www.flickr.com/photos/ avtar.

In keeping with the changing technology, he recently adopted digital photography. But he still prefers film photography for better and precise results.

———— Contributed by Varinder Singh and Balkrishan Prashar

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